What do we do?

Educational Psychologists who work for Fife Council are registered professionals regulated by the Health and Care Professionals Council and their role in Scottish local authorities is determined by law in Scotland (Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act, 2009) .  Our tasks set out in the law include; studying and assessing children and young people from birth to the age of 24, to give advice to improve education and life outcomes, to give specific advice about education provision to meet the agreed educational needs of children and young people, and to advise other professional colleagues including the Children’s Hearing system.

In Fife, educational psychologists all have allocated time to link with council pre-school provision, local schools and specialised education settings to support and advise pupils, families and staff on how to improve learning and general wellbeing.  At the beginning of the 2017-18 school session, we sent this FCEPS Update to all schools, outlining how we plan to work this session .  We agree and document our plans for working with schools in a format called the Shared Working Framework.

We give our advice by telephone, in person (e.g. review meetings) or in written reports with a view to providing assessment information based on the professional expertise of the psychologist in the child’s context.  Research shows that contextual assessment (gathering information from those closest to a child and from the child in their normal day-to-day lives) provides robust information which allows advice to be given which can allow changes to be put in place to improve outcomes for children both at home and in school.

Educational psychologists work closely with school staff but also professionals from other services, where appropriate, to ensure that advice is coordinated when more than one service is involved.  Parents (and children where appropriate) should expect to be consulted by their educational psychologist prior to them speaking with other professionals about their child to gain their consent.

As well as casework, educational psychologists have an important role in training and professional development activities within Fife Council Education and Children’s Services directorate, they are involved in evaluating projects and conducting research, and they contribute to new council policies designed to improve provision and outcomes for children in Fife.

In 2017 Education Scotland reported that ‘Unique to this service is the innovative use of improvement science methodologies in relation to their own self-evaluation.’  The service has gone on to apply improvement science to the effective implementation of initiatives in school, developing an Effective Implementation Toolkit to support both schools and the local authority to demonstrate impact, particularly on those young people most disadvantaged.  

Some examples of the work of our educational psychologists are:

  • advising parents about their child’s readiness to start P1 at school
  • supporting school staff to develop strategies to promote emotional resilience and manage anxiety
  • supporting schools to address cyber-bullying situations and children’s use of social media
  • working with the authority to review its school attendance policy

Educational Psychologists are well placed to help schools support pupils with mental health and emotional wellbeing difficulties – the support we can provide is outlined in the FCEPS Mental Health and Wellbeing paper.

To read more about what will happen when an Educational Psychologist gets involved please see Service Delivery page and Frequently asked questions.

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